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Don't let UP turn into Kerala, Kashmir or Bengal, Adityanath tells UP voters
LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked people to return the BJP to power or face the possibility of the state turning into a "Kashmir, Kerala or Bengal".

Adityanath made the remark in a six-minute video message on Twitter, on the eve of Thursday's polling for the first phase of the assembly elections in UP.

The CM said he was concerned that rioters, whose activities were curbed by his government, are now feeling uneasy.

Terrorists are making threats, he added.

"Be alert. If you miss this time, the five-year effort will be washed away. And it will take no time for UP to become Kashmir, Kerala or Bengal."

"This vote will be your guarantee to a life without fear," Adityanath said in his appeal to voters.

The chief minister said he is satisfied that UP is now free from "professional criminals" and the terror of the mafia.

"The Hindus who migrated from their home have returned," he said, in a possible reference of the alleged exodus of traders after threats from criminals in Shamli's Kairana town some years back.

"Those who used to issue threats and extort money from traders are either in jail or left the state," he said.

He claimed police now work without any political interference, and women can move about freely.

The CM said he never worked in a "biased manner" during his term, there was no scam and no one could raise a charge of corruption of "a single paisa" against him.

Highlighting the work done by his government in the past five years, Adityanath said it succeeded in providing electricity in all villages.

He claimed such development work had not been done over the past 70 years.

"We built toilets and this was not a move to get your votes. It was a matter of our mothers' pride. Elections will come and go but now women will not have to work on the 'chulha' (firewood stove)," he said.

He also mentioned the Ayushman Bharat scheme for medical treatment, the construction of expressways and industrial corridors and the free ration given to 15 crore people during the Covid pandemic.

He said medical colleges and oxygen plants are being established in all districts.

Non-BJP political parties in West Bengal on Thursday asserted that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's "attempt to polarise people of his state" will fail, after he made references to Kerala, Kashmir and the eastern state "in a negative way" while seeking votes for the saffron party.

Appealing to people to vote for BJP, Adityanath, in a video message, said that their votes will decide the future of Uttar Pradesh, and cautioned people against "making a mistake" that will turn the northern state into Kashmir, Kerala or West Bengal in no time.

"I will tell you something that is in my heart, a lot of wonderful things have happened in these five years. Beware! If you miss (the chance of voting for the right party), the labour of these five years will be spoiled. It would not take much time for Uttar Pradesh to become Kashmir, Kerala and Bengal," he said in the video shared by UP BJP on Twitter on Wednesday.

Reacting to the statement, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said that Adityanath is desperately trying to divide people, "which is an old game of the BJP when it finds the going tough".

"The BJP has sensed defeat in the upcoming UP elections, which is why it is now trying to sow discord among people of the northern state by portraying amity and peace in West Bengal in a negative light."

"West Bengal will never become Adityanath's UP, instead UP will set an example of harmony and amity by dislodging him from power," the TMC leader said.

CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said that Adityanath"s comment was a "blatant attempt at polarising the peace-loving people of UP".

"We don't subscribe to Adityanath's vision of India, which is an affront on our mosaic of different faiths and religions. We oppose his idea of Hindu Rashtra," the CPI(M) central committee member said.

Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Adityanath knows nothing about the eastern state and its secular traditions.

State BJP, however, claimed that the UP CM was referring to the law and order situation in West Bengal.

"He referred to the law and order situation in West Bengal. The entire country knows how our party workers were killed, and women family members of our supporters raped by TMC goons during post-poll violence. The situation in UP is far better than in West Bengal," BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.

The Adityanath-led BJP government is seeking a second consecutive term in Uttar Pradesh, while TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is campaigning for his main challenger Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav.

The BJP had won 312 of the 403 seats in UP Assembly in last elections in 2017, while SP secured only 47 seats.

Banerjee, while recently campaigning for SP candidates, called for defeating the BJP.

She referred to her pet projects in West Bengal, and said that UP will get good governance if SP comes to power, and atrocities against minorities, Dalits and women will end.

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